This series of courses is designed to train municipal and county finance personnel in the responsibility of everyday fiscal operations. All eight courses are required for the state designation of Certified Municipal Finance Officer (CMFO).
The Municipal Finance Administration (MFA) for CMFOs course is an option for the designation of Certified Municipal Clerk, Qualified Purchasing Agent and/or Registered Public Purchasing Official/Specialist, the alternatives being MFA for Clerks and MFA for Public Purchasing Personnel.
Municipal finance officers, treasurers, clerks, purchasing agents, collectors, commissioners of finance, council members, other municipal officials, and interested citizens are invited to enroll in the courses as long as the prerequisites are satisfied.
The CMFO curriculum includes a prerequisite of basic accounting knowledge to ensure that students are adequately prepared to complete the program. A minimum of six credits in college-level accounting, or completion of the Introduction to Accounting course, is required prior to attendance in the Current Fund I and subsequent courses. An opportunity to "test-out” of the introduction course is available for individuals whose experience with accounting principles has prepared them to meet the demands of the curriculum. To make arrangements to take the test, call 732-932-3640, ext. 632; the exam administration carries a $90 fee.
Introduction to Accounting
This course has been added to the Certified Municipal Finance Officer's program to ensure that students are adequately prepared to successfully complete the program. The course is applicable to all those who do not possess six credits in accounting at the college level. Successful completion of this course is required prior to attendance in Current Fund I and subsequent courses. A final exam is given.
Municipal Finance Administration (CMFO)
This introductory course in the field of municipal finance is designed to provide a foundation for a better understanding of New Jersey local government fiscal affairs. Major areas of instruction cover the institutional framework of local government in New Jersey, the state's role in supervision and assistance, property tax administration and assessment administration, municipal caps, municipal budgeting, budget execution, municipal purchasing, treasury management, and flexible chart of accounts. A final exam is given.
Municipal Budget Process
This second course in the sequence acquaints the student with the full budget cycle, with special emphasis on the budget's role as a tool for effective municipal management. Legal requirements concerning the adoption and execution of the official budget are examined, with particular attention to the roles of various municipal officials and the administrative techniques involved. Preparation of departmental budget requests, budget review and cuts, revenues and appropriations, and new budget techniques are covered. Attention also is given to the flexible chart of accounts. Accounting and auditing principles are briefly discussed. Students are encouraged to relate the course work to their current practical budget practices. A final exam is given.
Municipal Current Fund Accounting 1
Prerequisite: Municipal Budget Process
This third course focuses on fund accounting in New Jersey. It is designed to prepare the local government finance official for the more advanced accounting courses offered. The student is introduced to basic fund accounting terminology and work sheet preparation. The flexible chart of accounts is also covered. A final exam is given.
Municipal Current Fund Accounting 2
Prerequisite: Municipal Current Fund Accounting 2
This is the fourth course in the municipal finance course sequence. It is designed for those who have responsibility for local government finance. The course covers the application of the principles and theories for the complete municipal accounting cycle. A final exam is given.
Municipal Capital and Trust Fund Accounting
Prerequisite: Municipal Current Fund Accounting 1 and 2
This is the fifth course in the municipal finance course sequence. Students have an opportunity to work on accounting processes and problems during class under the instructor's supervision. Principles of assessment, trust fund accounting, general capital fund accounting, and theory of capital budgeting are also covered. A final exam is given.
Municipal Utility Fund Accounting
Prerequisite: Municipal Capital and Trust Fund Accounting
This is the sixth course in the municipal finance course sequence. Students have an opportunity to work on utility fund accounting processes and problems in class under the instructor's supervision. Course topics include purpose and scope of utility funds, the utility operating fund, theory of capital budgeting, the utility capital fund, and the utility assessment fund. A final exam is given.
Principles of Financial Management
Text: Principles of Financial Management
This seventh course in the municipal finance sequence emphasizes sound financial management practices for finance directors, treasurers, and registered municipal accountants. Elements of financial organization, reporting, planning, debt, pension, investment, insurance administration, and collective bargaining are reviewed through case studies. This is the only course in the sequence required for the issuance of the designation of Certified Municipal Finance Officer for registered municipal accountants (RMA) licensed by the State of New Jersey (see N.J.S.A. 40A:9-140 for details). A final exam is given.
Preparation of Annual Financial Statements
Prerequisite: All accounting courses
This is the eighth and final course in the series designed to teach the student the skills necessary to complete an annual financial statement. The course is open only to those students who have completed Municipal Current Fund I and II, Municipal Capital and Trust Fund Accounting, and Municipal Utility Fund Accounting. The course is built around the actual preparation of an annual financial statement by the student. In addition, specific information such as filing deadlines, statutory requirements, the role of the finance officer, and other pertinent issues are reviewed. A final exam is given.
County Fiscal Operations
Prerequisite: All accounting courses
Those wishing to become Certified County Finance Officers (CCFO) must complete the County Fiscal Operations course, successfully complete the eight financial management courses required for CMFO certification (Municipal Finance Administration, Municipal Budget Process, Municipal Current Fund Accounting 1, Municipal Current Fund Accounting 2, Municipal Capital and Trust Fund Accounting, Principles of Financial Management, Preparation of Annual Financial Statement, County Fiscal Operations) in addition to meeting other requirements.
CERTIFIED MUNICIPAL FINANCE OFFICER (CMFO) AND CERTIFIED COUNTY FINANCE OFFICER CERTIFICATION INFORMATION
For complete certification requirements for the CMFO designation, see N.J.S.A. 40A:9-140.1-3.
For additional information on becoming a CMFO or CCFO,contact the Certification Unit, Division of Local Government Services, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, at 609-633-6349, or visit http://www.state.nj.us/dca/divisions/dlgs/
Registered Municipal Accountant (RMA) Examination Review Courses
6 hours each
These five, one-day courses are intensive reviews for those preparing for the Registered Municipal Accountant examination. The modules teach both theory and process through accounting problems and questions from prior RMA examinations. The following topics are covered: Module 1, Municipal Procedures and Practices; Module 2, Current Fund Accounting; Module 3, General and Trust Fund Accounting; Module 4, Utility Fund Accounting; Module 5, RMA Practice Exam. Modules are approved for 7 CPE credits each in Yellow Book Governmental Accounting by the Board of Accountancy under Rutgers University sponsor number 703.
Rutgers Center for Government Services awards certificates upon satisfactory completion of each Financial Management program course. This is defined as attendance at 80 percent of the class hours, a passing grade of 80 percent or higher, and full payment of all fees.
DCA Continuing Education Credit
Selected program courses qualify for CEU credit toward renewal of the CMFO/CCFO licenses. Call the center at 732-932-3640, ext. 644, for more information.
CPE Continuing Education Credit
The financial management program courses are approved by the New Jersey State Board of Accountancy for CPE credit under New Jersey sponsor number 703.